When Upside Down Is The Right Way Up

I thought it was a great idea!

It came to me in a moment of concern for the water proofing of my running ‘companion’ when caught in a rain shower a few weeks ago. Typically, my iPhone would be in my pocket, but that’s not a safe haven when it comes to a downpour. So I decided to get a waterproof running armband to house my running ‘buddy’ in these common, wet occurrences of the Yorkshire year. After all, if you put off exercise every time it rained in England, you’d quickly put off exercise altogether.

So there you have it: The great idea was the running armband. Da…daaaa!

But I hated it!

You see, I don’t have the neck of a giraffe that enables it to bend around the side of my arm to set my Runkeeper, or choose and start my podcast, or check on my stats mid-run. When my iPhone was in my pocket, it was easy to take it out and view all that I needed to.

Then a few days ago, I had a great idea to compliment the ‘great idea’ that I hated. Why don’t I slot the iPhone into the running armband upside down. That way, if I need to read anything off the screen while running, all that I do is raise my arm, turn my head to the side, and…zim-za-la-bim…I’m able to read and operate my screen perfectly.

It worked: Upside down is the right way up!

As I pondered my moment of brilliance while running a few days ago (forgive me, but such moments don’t happen that often so when they do, I ponder them), I thought to myself how that which we naturally tend to, is made so much better, that much more pleasurable, when we ‘turn them upside down’.

No, I am not suggesting that reading a book upside down makes it more pleasant an experience, nor trying to eat a pizza while standing on your head.

I’m talking about the way we naturally tend to things like self-fulfilment, personal-development and personal convenience. One of the most natural tendencies of being human is to look out for “Number 1”!
Somebody might suggest that while it’s natural, it’s also critical. They would say that it is impossible to be appropriately concerned about anybody else unless you have first concerned yourself…with you.

But this is what I have discovered about my ‘self’.

It’s a monster!
Once I begin to feed it as a matter of priority, it demands more and more, until I become totally consumed with keeping ‘it’ happy, while everybody else is ignored.

However, what if I flipped it on its head? What if I turned it upside down? What if I put others before myself? What if I put them before my concerns and before my desires? What if I served others as a priority over me? What if I put my family over my work? What if I set aside the cost of one Starbucks Latté a week (£2.60 = £10.40/month) toward a cause like Save the Children or Christian Aid? What if I set aside half and hour every week to walk up my road and collect any litter I see on the ground? What if I set aside one hour, one Sunday a month, to visit a children’s hospital ward to read a story?

Living life is like a long, slow run, and sometimes these runs can take place in ‘showery weather’. The closest companion I know is ‘me’. Wherever my route takes me, ‘me’ is right beside me. And when ‘me’ is my companion in ‘showery weather’, it ain’t so pleasant.
On the contrary, I have discovered that the best thing to do with ‘me’ is to turn ‘me’ upside down. To do so means to put you, and others the right way up.

And what have I discovered?

That upside down is the right way up!

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